Burlington House – Top down demolition

Demolition project background

The former 12 storey office block, Burlington House, adjoining multi-storey car park and the County Hotel in Dover were due for demolition to make way for the future St James Redevelopment.

Following a rigorous tender process, DDS were selected on the basis of capability, cost and methodology.

Using the top down demolition method, our own machinery was utilised including high reach 450 tonne Komatsu amongst others.

The programme required multiple demolitions occurring in a pre-determined sequence, working in conjunction and around other contractors such as scaffolders and asbestos removal contractors.

The site was situated immediately adjacent to the main route in and out of Dover, the A20. Both residential housing and businesses remained operational.

Due to the close proximity to live environments, significant dust suppression was required throughout the duration of the demolition.


Demolition Works:

  • Confirm isolation and termination of services to the structures.
  • Erect Hoarding to secure the site and create a demolition exclusion zone.
  • Install pedestrian and vehicle gates as part of the overall Traffic Management Plan.
  • Erect scaffold / monarflex around the external elevations of Burlington House.
  • Remove asbestos materials.
  • Remove any other hazardous materials.
  • Soft strip services, fixtures, fittings and non-load bearing structures.
  • Demolish all buildings to ground slab level.
  • Remove all demolition arisings, rubbish and soft strip materials arising.

Earthworks Package:

  • Clearing vegetation and bottle banks to clear the way for welfare
  • Setting up the site boundary
  • Service disconnections and diversions
  • Remove all obstructions and hardstandings
  • Reduce the ground to required formation level
  • CBR test the whole site
  • Install the piling platform
  • Engineer test all the levels
  • Hand the area over

Achievements and Successes

  • The site was in a very busy and vulnerable location. The surrounding roads, pathways and businesses were all heavily used throughout the duration of the works. Effective dust and vibration suppression was paramount, and such pollutions had to be carefully controlled.
  • A variety of methods were employed ranging from high reach demolition using our own machinery to top down demolition.
  • The client was suitably impressed with DDS and requested we extend our remit of works to include the Earthworks package.
  • A well-hole (a hole cut through each floor at the same location) was utilised to clear all waste from the working level to the ground floor. This regular waste clearance prevented the overloading of the floor slabs.
  • The management and co-operation working in conjunction with other contractors was exemplary.
  • Over 97% of the waste arising from the demolition process was recycled.